What is Damascus Steel?

Damascus steel also known as pattern weld, Damascene or Damast originated out of the Near East India some two thousand years ago. In India it is known as wootz or ukku steel.  Later it was introduced into the city of Damascus Syria which had a thriving weapons economy. 

Damascus steel was used for making knives, swords, daggers..etc. It also was considered a very dominant weapon during the viking age. 

The making of Damascus Steel blade was a lost art form for the past few centuries, but was revived in the past several decades. The steel used to manufacture damascus blades today is typically not the same wootz steel used back in the original days. Today manufacturers typically used a high carbon 1095 steel which is the highest content carbon steel used in swords. 

Damascus Steel Patterns

The striking standout feature of Damascus steel is of course the beautiful patterns caused by several hundreds of layers of folded steel. However, the purpose of the folded steel is not for creating its beauty that is just the after effect. The main purpose is to give integrity to the blade. By folding hundreds of layers of steel together it creates a powerful edge while still having the strength and flexibility withstand powerful strikes. This is what made this steel perfect for swords. 

A similar analogy although not quite the same might be when you think of plywood. Plywood is several layers of different wood that have been glued together to give it additional strength. Likewise the several folds in damascus steel give the steel its strength and flexibility. 

Damascus Steel Recommendations

You’ll notice when you hold a damascus steel blade that it feels denser than other steel blades. It also seems to be a little more time consuming when sharpening, but once done it maintains its sharpness.

Personally, I love these blades because of their usefulness, their integrity (they’ll probably never break), and their beauty tops it off. I never knew anything about Damascus steel until my wife gave me one as an anniversary gift; it was an awesome present. Anyone should love to receive such a present. 

  1. Bowie Knife

2. Hatchet

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